Oxford United must play with no fear, says new boss

9:30am Wednesday 9th July 2014

By David Pritchard

MICHAEL Appleton used his first meeting with Oxford United’s players to call for them to stick to their strengths and play without fear.

The new head coach is well aware time is of the essence after starting work on Monday, just over a month before the start of the Sky Bet League Two season.

He is keen to bring in new players quickly, but also wants to get to know those already at the club.

Appleton spoke briefly to the squad to lay out his plans, and the former Portsmouth and Blackburn boss intends to lead by example.

He said: “I told them there’s going to be no Robert de Niro speeches. You’ll know what my qualities are and you’ll see what I’m about over the next days, weeks and months with the professionalism I bring to the party.

“I expect them over a period of time to come and introduce themselves to me and tell me about themselves.

“That’s how I work. I always have an open door and I’m quite an easy guy to get on with as long as you do your job properly.

“I just want the players to express themselves.

“Whatever qualities they bring to the team – do it without fear.

“Whether you’re someone who defends well, a good passer or like to attack people, stick to your strengths and relax.”

Dave Kitson is the only U’s player who has worked with Appleton before, when the pair were at Fratton Park during the 2011-12 season.

The rest will have to learn how the new boss wants to play, their first outing coming with the start of the pre-season games at Farnborough this Saturday.

Appleton believes his sides have a track record of attractive football but also acknowledged there was a need to be pragmatic.

He said: “Most people are going to say ‘I want an open brand of football’.

“They use all the right words and to be fair, with 90 per cent of them, that is what they want.

“With my background I think the majority of sides I’ve been with have always played good football.

“But on the other hand, you have to find a way to win.

“There will be occasions between November and January where the weather isn’t fantastic and there will be situations where we need to find a way to win when we’ll have our backs to the wall.

“Hopefully we have enough personalities and strength of character to do that.”

Latest Sport news

ROWING: Falcon's crews triumph in borrowed boats

Oxford Mail:

7:56pm Thursday 29th January 2015

FALCON RC, Oxford, overcame damage to two boats en route to Northampton to gain 11 wins in the Head of the Nene Regatta.

Oxford United sign right back Richard Brindley

Oxford Mail:

12:30pm Thursday 29th January 2015

OXFORD United have signed Richard Brindley on an initial one-month loan deal from Rotherham United.

Confusion over John Campbell's future at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

10:44am Thursday 29th January 2015

JOHN Campbell's future at Oxford United is up in the air as discussions with Jarrow Roofing continue.

Alfie Potter desperate to get smile back after moving from Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

ALFIE Potter says he will always have great memories from his time at Oxford United.

LONDON WELSH: Burnell makes pledge to fringe players

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Thursday 29th January 2015

SOME of London Welsh’s squad players have staked a claim for a regular first team place, following good performances in cup games, according to Justin Burnell, writes SIMON WILLIAMS.

RACING: Henrietta Knight in Bangor return with Calgary Bay

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

Henrietta Knight, who handed in her licence in June 2012, is set to make a low-key return to racing by saddling Calgary Bay in a hunter chase at Bangor-on-Dee on Friday, February 6.

ATHLETICS: Megan Humphreys in top-ten finish

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

Oxford City’s Megan Humphreys continued her rich vein of form with a top-ten finish at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Stanmer Park, Brighton.

ICE HOCKEY: Flying start sees Stars earn draw to climb off the bottom

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

OXFORD City Stars moved off the bottom of the table with a 2-2 draw against London Raiders at Oxpens.

AUNT SALLY: Banbury in cup delight

Oxford Mail: Aunt sally doll close up for sport

8:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

Banbury added the Neil West Memorial Cup to their Banbury Indoor League title triumph with a 2-0 win over Deddington in the final.

BAR BILLIARDS: Leaders Kennington roar back to survive big scare

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Thursday 29th January 2015

Gladiators Club B narrowly missed out on a shock win over Premier Division leaders Kennington in the Johnsons Buildbase Oxford League, writes PETE EWINS.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/